With team founder Vijay Mallya under pressure to sell off Kingfisher Airlines and rumours that none of its drivers had been paid a salary in 2012, Force India
could do without further financial worries, but they keep on coming.
A recent report into F1 finances [see separate story
] included the Silverstone-based team among those facing money problems - although Nico Hulkenberg
has since attempted to play down the suggestions that neither he or team-mate Paul di Resta have been paid to race - and will no doubt be concerned by stories emanating from India suggesting that new co-owner Sahara is facing a court order to repay more than $3bn raised from small investors.
According to Reuters
, India's top court has instructed the company, which also backs India's national cricket and hockey teams, to pay back the sum as its fundraising practices involving two smaller companies which raised $3.18bn over four years did not comply with securities regulations. The Securities and Exchange Board of India has already ordered the refund - complete with 15 per cent interest - but an appeal, based on Sahara's claim that it had been a private placement, sent the matter to the courts, who upheld the original decision and instructed the company to repay the full amount within three months.
Sahara, founded by Subrata Roy Sahara, bought into the Force India
team during the 2011 F1 season, after Mallya ran into trouble with a couple of his own companies, including Kingfisher Airlines, which he has come under pressure to sell off.
Meanwhile, Hulkenberg's manager, Timo Gans, has shrugged off the claims that his client had not been paid for his services this season.
"These are rumours," he told Germany's Sport1, "I really wonder where this information comes from — maybe people know more than we do."
Hulkenberg and di Resta are both being touted as potential replacements for Felipe Massa